Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Honiton
Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Honiton basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Honiton conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Even though your last Honiton conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Honiton both have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Honiton. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Honiton where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Honiton conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Honiton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Honiton conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Honiton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Honiton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Honiton can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- Some Honiton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
Honiton Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries before buying
You should want to find out as much as possible regarding the managing agents as they will either make living at the property much simpler or much more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you are often in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to every day issues such as the tidiness of the communal areas. You should not be shy to ask other tenants what they think of them. Finally, be sure you discover the dates that the maintenance charges are due to the relevant party and specifically what you get for your money.
Is there a share of the freehold?
Many Honiton leasehold apartments will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the building levied by the freeholder. If you acquire the flat you will have to pay this amount, usually periodically accross the year. This can be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met annual, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant sum, say about £50-£100 but you should to check it because sometimes it can be many hundreds of pounds.